Collabortive Arts Ensemble Contributed Image / Among musicians participating in the Counterpoint Concert will be top row, from left, Daniel McGrew, Tim Hinck and Arkai string duo. Bottom row, from left, are Elaine Daiber, Thomas West and Philip Stoddard.

A new seasonal concert is launching Saturday night, Dec. 7, that organizers hope will become an annual event to support the Chattanooga Area Food Bank.

Tim Hinck and Thomas West have collaborated on Counterpoint Concert, a benefit performance that will present J.S. Bach's "Magnificat" as well as an original work by Hinck, "But She's Got Eyes," based on text by poet and former East Tennessean Lynn Powell.

Hinck will conduct 15 singers and 18 instrumentalists in this performance, which West is producing. The musicians will be made up of local singers, primarily from Opera Tennessee, and the New York City-based Collaborative Arts Ensemble, of which West is a member. The instrumentalists will include members of the guest ensemble as well as Chattanooga Symphony & Opera and Figment Ensemble.

"Their group is a collective of artists of different disciplines who come together to do creative projects. They work a lot of times with new works, usually combining those with existing works from the classical repertoire," Hinck describes of the Collaborative Arts Ensemble.

West says the guest artists have performed at Carnegie Hall and Tanglewood, and attended Yale, Juilliard, Bard College and New England Conservatory. Philip Stoddard, a renowned off-Broadway actor, is the ensemble's narrator.

Guest soloists joining the singers will be Elaine Daiber and Sun Li Pierce, sopranos; Rebecca Printz, alto; Daniel McGrew, tenor; and West, a baritone.

Arkai, the string duo of cellist Philip Sheegog and violinist Jonathan Miron, both graduates of Juilliard, will be featured on their own numbers as well as playing with the musicians accompanying the singers.

If you go

› What: J.S. Bach’s “Magnificat”

› Where: St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 848 Ashland Terrace

› When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7

› Admission: $20 adults, $7 students

› For more information:

Hinck says the singers will perform all 12 movements of the "Magnificat" in Latin.

"But She's Got Eyes," a piece that the Collaborative Arts Ensemble commissioned of Hinck, will make its premiere in this program. Hinck says it was written for this program and the piece is "loosely informed by and meant to accompany the 'Magnificat.'"

"I used almost the same instrumentation. It's a very unusual, specific instrumentation, so probably not one I would have chosen otherwise. It creates this very specific sound that is very Handel's 'Messiah- esque,' a very festive sound," Hinck describes.

While the prospect of premiering a new work is exciting, what really thrills the composer is the possibility of how many local residents could be helped by this concert.

"The most exciting part is that 100% of the ticket proceeds will go to the Food Bank. If we get the audience we are hoping for, we will raise enough for 1,250 meals," says Hinck.

"We're hoping to make this an annual event at the beginning of the holiday season around the time Advent starts. The plan is to do a different masterwork, augmented with new music, each year."

Contact Susan Pierce at or 423-757-6284.


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